While many of you reading this blog are just entering into Barnard, I am leaving. I am graduating from Barnard in two months.
Anticipating no longer being a student here, I have been reflecting a lot on my time here, and would like to share some of my thoughts with you.
I fell in love with Barnard during my senior year of high school when I came to visit as a prospective student. What drew me to Barnard during my visit were the students I met. Each young woman I interacted with exuded a certain vibrancy as she spoke passionately and articulately about the various activities she participated in, and classes she was taking. My initial impression of Barnard students has been repeatedly confirmed throughout my time here. I am consistently impressed with the high level of class discussion; the investment in, and quality of, my peers school assignments; and the breadth and depth of their involvement in extracurricular activities. No one here just enjoys learning Spanish, instead, if she is a Barnard student, she loves speaking Spanish, choosing to major in Spanish, spend a year studying abroad in Spain, and working to provide health care to Spanish-speaking undocumented immigrants in the city.
I can’t write about the quality of Barnard students without writing about three of my closes friends here. All Barnard students, the four of us met within the first semester of our first year here. This will be our third year living together. I consider these three women part of my family. They are some of the smartest, most ambitious women I have every met. We also have incredible fun together, exploring the city, attending events on campus, and cooking some great meals. Watching how hard my friends work has inspired me to work harder myself. I do not think I would have taken on as much as I have if I hadn’t seen how they were able to manage a full course load and several extra-curriulars. At the same time, these three have been the pillar of my support system here at Barnard, making this school a place where I can be both ambitious and vulnerable, with people I love to support both qualities. Here is a little bit about each of my roommates.
Amarynth switched from a Biology major to a History major. She is president of Feel Good, a non profit organization which makes grilled cheese sandwiches for donations, 100% of which go towards alleviating world hunger. She is also a Barnard Speaking Fellow, trained to develop and give workshops on public speaking. She is graduating Phi Beta Kappa and working for a law firm in Boston next year.
Cecelia is an English Creative Writing major. She is also a Barnard Writing Fellow, trained to give feedback on students writing samples. Additionally, she is the Music Director of the jazz A Cappella group on campus, Uptown Vocal.
Erin is a Physics major and an Art History minor. She conducts research with the physics departments at Barnard and Columbia. She also sings in Uptown Vocal. Next year Erin is attending Cambridge for a masters program. She is the first Barnard student in the schools history to receive the Gates Scholarship, which covers the full cost of her tuition to Cambridge. After receiving her master’s degree she plans to pursue a PhD in physics.
(in the photo, from left to right, is Cecelia, Amarynth, Erin and me)